A first down facility
Indoor practice field next to Williams Stadium to be completed next summer
Liberty University has undergone major construction to its campus for several years and continues to expand with the indoor football facility that will feature 70-foot ceilings and a regulation field.
Vice President of Major Construction Alan Askew said the new facility will help during football season because weather will no longer dictate their practice schedule.
“This is a need and a want,” Askew said.
“A lot of the larger, high caliber schools have this type of facility, and it makes us that much more attractive in seeking a BCS conference invitation.”
Many other Liberty NCAA teams will be able to take advantage of the indoor facility due to the large space.
“It’s basically a big open space once the intricate structure is erected,” Askew said.
“This project is actually pretty exciting as it doesn’t have the major stress level because it doesn’t have all the intricacies inside the building that some of the other ones do.”
Head Football Coach Turner Gill said in an email that the practice facility will be beneficial to not only the program, but the entire athletics department.
“We are blessed to work at a university which continues to provide its athletics programs with world-class facilities and the tools it needs to succeed, both on and off the field,” Gill said.
With the current schedule of construction, the indoor football facility is expected to be completed before the start of the fall 2017 semester.
“We’re hoping to have it substantially complete under the expectation that one of the schools will want to have a graduation ceremony in there,” Askew said.
“We think it will be finally complete probably at the end of June 2017.”
Askew said one thing that will make Liberty’s football facility unique is that it will have a lot of glass.
The new facility will also feature four remote point-to-zoom cameras to capture practice and play clocks to simulate game-like scenarios.
“It is going to be a statement building, because it is right at the front door of campus,” Askew said.
“It’s going to be a pretty spectacular building.”
Former Liberty football player Dylan Brucki said it was always the goal of Jerry Falwell Sr. to compete at the highest level in football, and with each new facility that is built on campus, the closer the university comes to achieving its goal.
“I think this was a great idea,” Brucki said.
“It is something that will help assure all facilities in our athletics program are of the highest quality. … Liberty is definitely achieving (its) goal.”
Brucki said the facility will be beneficial in many ways and will help with recruitment in the upcoming years.
“Recruits are always looking at the facility quality when they come to a campus to visit,” Brucki said.
Askew played football during his college years at Liberty before moving back to Texas and then returning to accept a position at Liberty. Throughout his football career, Askew said he never would have thought Liberty would have a facility like this.
“Dr. Falwell would always say that this was going to be a premiere university and campus,” Askew said.
“I never would have anticipated this caliber, so it’s exciting to not only see his vision come to fruition, but also to be a part of delivering it.”
Conley is a news reporter.